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Senior editor Alison Napjus joined Wine Spectator in 2000. She is the lead taster for Alsace, Beaujolais and Champagne and also tastes wines from regions throughout Italy.
Alison Napjus

A Sangiovese Faceoff

Alison Napjus
Posted: June 1, 2010

Manhattan’s Maialino restaurant, in the trendy Gramercy Park hotel, boasts an all-Italian wine list (almost—there’s one Champagne on the list), with about 25 options by the glass. This afforded a good opportunity for me to try something new from Italy, without committing to a whole bottle.

I selected the Moris Farms Morellino di Scansano 2008, a red from the southwestern corner of Tuscany, which was $15 for a quartino (about 8 ounces). Morellino is the local name for Sangiovese, and although I’ve had other Morellino di Scansano reds before I’d never tried the bottling from Moris Farms, one of the area’s top producers. I found the wine to be a bit rounder than its Sangiovese counterparts in Chianti and really driven by an underlying peppery note. It balanced all the spice with light tannins and flavors of plum and dried strawberry. I rated it 87 points, non-blind.

As far as Sangiovese goes, my heart probably belongs to Chianti Classico, or actually to Brunello di Montalcino! But I certainly enjoyed a chance to compare and contrast and would recommend this wine, or other Morellino di Scansanos, to anyone looking for a Sangiovese that’s generally less acidic than Chianti and typically quite affordable.

2 Lexington Ave. (between 21st and 22nd streets)
New York, NY 10010
Telephone: (212) 777-2410
Website: www.maialinonyc.com

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Moris Farms Morellino di Scansano 2008 (87, $17).

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Morellino di Scansano reds, along with our quick list of Top Values among Italian reds.

Kevin Tompkins
Thailand —  June 2, 2010 4:30am ET
Try the Sangiovese from J. Keverson Winery (CA). Although a little bit lighter than the Classico, it is very "Italian", especially for being produced in California.

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